tv U.S. Senate Sens. Murphy Reed on Iran War Powers Resolution CSPAN February 13, 2020 12:19am-12:45am EST
prepared for the likelihood that it won't we have to continue to ensure our words and actions make iran and any other hostile nation think twice for american citizens and ensure the military intelligence community has the resources that it needs but i will continue to work the military was best prepared and fighting force and to have the resources that they need to protect our country. i yield the floor. >> it has been more than a month since president turn brought the united states to the brink of war with iran by ordering the killing of the top general. no one here mormons his
death. he was a ruthless killer he had american blood all over his hands. but the decision whether he would attack sovereign nations and send the troops to war are not decisions for the executive branch to make. these are decisions that the constitution for the wood that is pending before the body. and i will try to do her briefly and those implications for us as a body in the nation
and to the topic to realize how much president trump has grownnn and running a master tass that did not exist before flailing away in the china shop. and then h to clean up the mess that he and the administration largely created. where we were with iran when president trump was in the oval office to stop the quest for nuclear weapon scapabilities. and then to be on that agreement the a radiant back militia stopped firing rack one - - rockets andt in fact those militias were actively
working on the us-led project of the eradication and to unify the world against iran even russia and china working side-by-side with united states toon constrict a residency program. and that was teed up for new progress to pressure on a next step of concessions with the proxies across the region. but now despite the sanctions iran is more powerful than ever but a construct we have the united states europe and china and russia and as many
issues iran and the european union china and russia aligned against the united states so we have lost sight of iran's provocative actions because that tends to strike we haven't had front page headlines but let's talk about the strike for a moment. because we need to make it clear that contrary to the assertions the qassem soleimani strike did not deter them at all it was a barrage of rockets that were designed to kill.
some suggested that night in the next day maybe the attack was calibrated to sustain minimal damage we know it was to wipe out over 100 american soldiers. they missed of course now we find out they did not miss at first they reported no injuries and now it's over 100 and thank god nobody is killed they injured over 100 american soldiers and we did not respond at all i'm glad that we chose a path of military de-escalation that nobody in this administration and no allies in congress can pretend we had deterrence but iran is retaliating all over the
region. in iraq they are stronger than ever p before with a new prime minister designate it is incredibly close to iran. and then to take all american soldiers with the negotiations to keep some to be more and more to no longer make headlines because those are lined up against the united states. and then trying to get out of iraq but maybe he was closer in death to his goal than he was when he was alive.
and iran is fighting back so to speak the houthis are acting out that was prior to the death of pseudo- money they are restricting aid and launching attacks against civilian sites and we don'tnd know houthis are undertaking these f actions but it is not coincidental that the houthis increase in activity to destabilize for what is happening at the very moment iran is looking for ways to get back at the united states for the qassem soleimani strike. isis and al qaeda are inside
yemen that has the clear design against the united states to take advantage of the chaos to recruit and grow territory. the houthis are further pdestabilizing human and iran is once again. but in lebanon we have a moment that there are protest onee the street demanding a government free of corruption or iranian influence. and then to break the grip of iran on lebanese politics and then to cut off aid to protect the protesters.
and with that assassination of qassem soleimani allowed iran to up and the momentum going against to ron and now there is a hezbollah government and instead of having a citizen focused government we have and showing american military bases. and it is important to understand that. and then with places like lebanon how much stronger iran
is getting and a direct consequences and then this president will maintain he has a mack truck sized loophole through which he can run military action without coming to congress. article to authority, and he has it not denying he doesn't have constitutional authority to protect america prior but the article to authority has morphed overtime into a monster in congress can do more than justt pass war powers resolutions. for years presidents of both parties have stretched the warmaking power too far.
we have been criticizing democratic president obama. for authorization for airstrikes to ask for authorization before launching the offensive againstin isis. or drone wars in human. but president trump has taken this abuse to a new level and the threat of policy without any authorization. from congress is something we have to take seriously. . . . .
designates who is on the terrorist list, so you cannot argue that the executive level designation of a terrorist group is a declaration of war. it's not even a debatable proposition that the administration is apparently making it. so, what i'm saying is we need to be looking towards the reform of the war powers process more broadly. to reach a multiple administration proves the need afor an enforcement mechanism r congress, and more specifically, definitions around the
circumstances in which a president can use force before coming to congress. a new powers act should sunset othe existing authorization military force that forced us to come back to the table and write new authorizations for the military engagements we still need them to be over and it should create templates for new authorizations of military force that include reasonable sunset provisions and protections to make sure that those authorizations don't get stretched to cover groups in areas that were never contemplated by the legislators who drafted the initial t authorization. for many folks it is the goal to familiar argument over the president's military escalation with iran. we are talking about manipulated intelligence, the drumbeat of the war. we are listening to the
administration and its advocates into avoiding the debate and the suggestion that by questioning you as military objectives overseas were somehow hurting the troops. it brings back flashbacks of the disastrous test war in iraq and it is essential in my mind so that we warn ourselves against going back down that path. let's pass this resolution, but we can't stop there. congress needs to do our job to reform the war power workforce o that this president and future presidents of both parties respect the congress's role into the deepest responsibility that they all have to the american people when we make a decision to go to war. i yield the floor.
we remain exceptionally if you go of calm before the storm no serious analyst has a future iranian violent action with the death and continued pressure by the united states. the death and the disruption of the command and control of the cubs force. he's not your replaceable but very difficult to replace. second, the principal objective in iraq is to expo the united states to get them to leave iraq. the killing has given iran political leverage it didn't imagine and t violence could dissipate that advantage especially as the political leadership remains. finally the tragic downing of the ukrainian airline swiftly reversed an outpouring of the nationalistic iran which renewed criticism of the ayatollah.
again the violence elsewhere at this time would exacerbate the opposition. the iranians are likely to continue to act for example they've signaled their intent to avenge the death of the popular mobilization force's deputy commander who was killed. the national security interest related to iran, iraq and the campaign are on a negative trajectory because of the policies and the impulsive decision-making that weul have seen. since coming to office, the administration raised a maximum pressure campaign c against iran that has crippling sanctions, the withdrawal from the iran nuclear deal and now the killing. secretary pompeo said the goal of the campaign is allegedly to
bring iran to the negotiating table but instead it's had the opposite effect driving iran so far into the corner but now sees little downside to direct conflict with the country. in addition to the ripple effect of the campaign it's resulted in the following. disruption of counterterrorism operations here in iraq to defeat isis. to remove u.s. troops from iraq and the assumption of the nuclear program. the growing diplomatic distance in the united states from traditional allies and partners and that isn't what anyone would call the wind. it should be clear that they are not working. the administration in the region dictate the response rather than proactively and strategically shaping them in collaboration with our allies and in a way that benefits the united states national security and foreign policy objectives.
engaging in diplomacy with iran and to rebuild the relationship with iraq. we have a diplomatic channel directly or through third parties to avoid miscalculation on either side that could lead to military conflict. such as has made it all the more difficult because of the reduced presence in baghdad. indeed with the inspector general for publication result, the statement indicated in his words it has affected and limited them to become more resilient in the democratic country and support the efforts. the situation in iraq is indicative of the entire diplomatic structure which hollowed out and hampered every turn.
they didn't assume they are advocating for the diplomatic options but instead it's been a louin aloud voice and the administration confrontation weaponize in diplomacy as the first step rather than the last is a sure path to diplomatic failure. to stumble into the conflict because of the misguided policy has never been higher. it's dictated by the constitution the decision that takes the nation rests with the congress and the resolution is an important step preserving the constitutional role with matters of national security. they should debate the issues of hostility. they claim questioning means it is an opponent of the regime. i wholeheartedly disagree. before being sent to war, the troops know they are determined that the objectives and worthy
of their potential sacrifice. the military men and women deserve to know that they have a clear mission and fullback and not only of the congress but also the american people that we represent. the administration not only does the american people the transparent x. donation fo but e hostilities of the ogre. in the contradictory administration for the killing even in the highly classified briefingss for senators failed o provide relevant details and there was simply no justification for refusing to share intelligencefo with congrs that underpins the administration's assessment that he posed an imminent threat to
americans in the region. the administration hasn't provided a sufficient response on either point. the process has repeatedly demonstrated a willingness not just to bend the facts but to indulge in fabrications. this behavior is particularly concerning an unacceptable. it may result in the deployment of troops into harms way. congress has a responsibility to demand and if necessary challenge the basis for the assertion that could be used to take the country to war. we must not repeat the mistakes that led us to the war in iraq in 2003. he voted against that conflict in part because w i believe it s a necessary war of choice and the bush administration has not provided the american people a sober assessment of the course or the nature of the threat. going into the war in iraq took our focus off of the effort to
defeat al qaeda and consolidate gains in afghanistan, a decision that has contributed to the inability in the years since. once again, we are risking conflict in the middle east at the expense of our efforts to ensure the defeat isis and this emphasis with russia iand this e with the national defense strategy. conflict with iran is not a hypothetical proposition given the steadily escalating cycle of violence that we've witnessed over the past two years which ultimately led to the outbreak of the conventional military ta and iran involved in the killing of soleimani into the recovery ballistic missile strike in iraq. iran also announced it will no longer comply with come constraints but with the jcp away. the result is reduction of so-called breakout linesak for iran to produce enough material.
he declared routinely they will not allow iran to acquire such a weapon. the only option is military when it comes to preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. however we have received no assurances that the administration would consult with congress to seek authorization in advance if it believed it needed to take such military action. congress cannot stand by. the potential conflict with iran and the presidents on national defense strategy with nearly in the last year disrupted operations against isis and made america less safe.
with the reabut for the real and diplomacy rather than relying on blind faith. to change course and engage with allies and partners but the goal for seeking a solution to the current situation immediately. madam president, debates between the executive branch and congress over the power to conduct war is not a new topic but i think in many ways the debate has been blown out of proportion. if this has to do with the decision made byen president trp with the advice of his advisers to eliminate one of the worst terrorists in the middle east, soleimani, who was plotting to bring down the american embassy or iraq and